Affordable Connectivity Program FAQs

Looking for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program FAQs?

 

What's the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Optimum is proudly participating in the Federal Government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a longer-term $14 billion program that replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program. This program helps eligible low-income households that qualify based on Federal Government rules pay for Internet service. It'll help ensure Americans can afford the connections they need for work, school, health care and more.

How much is the monthly credit?
Qualifying households can receive a monthly credit of up to $30 per month (or up to $75 per month for residents on Tribal Lands) towards their Internet service and equipment.

Who's eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
New and existing Optimum Internet service customers can participate! You qualify if a member of your household:

  • Receives SNAP/food stamps, Medicaid or is eligible to participate in another one of the FCC’s Lifeline qualifying programs;
  • Receives Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefit;
  • Receives free or reduced-price school lunch or breakfast through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP);
  • Enrolled in a school that offers free school breakfast and lunch to all students through its participation in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP);
    • Most New York City public schools qualify!
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year; or,
  • If your gross annual household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (see the 2022 income ceilings per household size for the 48 contiguous states):
    Household SizeGross Annual Household Income
    1$27,180
    2$36,620
    3$46,060
    4$55,500
    5$64,940
    6$74,380
    7$83,820
    8$93,260
    Each Addt'l$9,440

And, each eligible household can only receive one Affordable Connectivity Program benefit.

To receive your Affordable Connectivity Program benefit through Optimum, you’ll need to first confirm your eligibility through the National Verifier and then submit your information (including your Affordable Connectivity Program National Verifier application ID) to us at Optimum.com/ACP.

How do I apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program with Optimum if I have Optimum Internet service?

  • You, or the Optimum account owner if that’s not you, will first need to get an Affordable Connectivity Program approval from the National Verifier. The approval can be received in the form of an online approval notice (take a screenshot), an email, or a letter.
    • TIP! Make sure the person eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program benefit is the Optimum account owner. If you can’t use the account owner with the National Verifier, transfer account ownership to the approved person. Transfer my Optimum account.
  • You, or the Optimum account owner if that’s not you, will then need to apply using the Optimum application process at Optimum.com/ACP.
    • You'll be asked to provide your Optimum account number and the National Verifier application ID, your name, and your address (among other things) as they appear on the National Verifier approval.
 

How do I apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program with Optimum if I want Optimum Internet service?

  • If you’re not currently an Optimum customer and meet at least one of the eligibility criteria listed, simply sign up for Internet service! Click here to find the right Internet speed for you.
  • Once you’ve received your Optimum account number in your order confirmation email, then visit us at Optimum.com/ACP.
    • TIP! Make sure the person eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program benefit is the Optimum account owner.
  • The Optimum account owner will need to get an Affordable Connectivity Program approval from the National Verifier. The approval can be received in the form of an online approval notice (take a screenshot), an email, or a letter.
    • TIP! If you can’t use the account owner with the National Verifier, transfer account ownership to the approved person. Transfer my Optimum account.
  • The Optimum account owner will need to apply using the Optimum application process at Optimum.com/ACP.
    • You'll be asked to provide your Optimum account number and the National Verifier application ID, your name, and your address (among other things) as they appear on the National Verifier approval.
 

When will I see the Affordable Connectivity Program credit applied to my account if I was approved?
If you have received an email from us approving you to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program with Optimum, you can expect to see the monthly credit within the next two bills.

How long will it take to find out if my Optimum Affordable Connectivity Program application has been approved?
It may take us up to 5 business days to review and process your application. We’ll notify you of our decision at the email address you provided within 5 business days.

What should I do if I haven’t received an email from Optimum about my eligibility to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program?
It may take us up to 5 business days after we receive your application to process it and notify you. If it has been more than 6 business days since you applied, but you haven't received an enrollment status email, please check your junk or spam folders for our message. If you haven't received an eligibility email, call us at 866.670.0855.

Can I re-apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program with Optimum if my application was not approved?
Yes, if you believe you're eligible to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program with Optimum, please re-apply.

When you fill out your enrollment application with us, please be sure you answer “Yes” when you are asked “Are you currently receiving an Affordable Connectivity Program or Emergency Broadband Benefit Program credit from another service provider for this address?”

I received an email saying my household information is already tied to another participant in the program. What do I do?
If you or someone in your household are receiving an Affordable Connectivity Program credit with another service provider, you may ask us to transfer your benefit to Optimum, which means you'll lose the benefit with your current provider once you are enrolled with Optimum. A household can only receive one Affordable Connectivity Program credit at a time.

To transfer your benefit to us, please re-apply at Optimum.com/ACP. When you fill out your enrollment application with us, please be sure you answer “Yes” when you are asked “Are you currently receiving an Affordable Connectivity Program or Emergency Broadband Benefit Program credit from another service provider for this address?”

I want to change my Internet service tier. Will I still get the Affordable Connectivity Program credit?
You can change your Internet service to any tier and retain the credit up to $30/month (up to $75/month for households on Tribal Lands).

How long will the monthly Affordable Connectivity Program credit last?
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a longer-term program that is anticipated to last until the federal government funds are depleted.

What are the FCC’s qualifying programs for Lifeline that could qualify my household for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
If you or a member of your household participates in any one of the FCC’s Lifeline qualifying programs, your household may qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program benefit.

Does the Optimum account owner need to apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Yes, the Optimum account owner should apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program benefit. The Optimum account owner should first obtain a National Verifier approval and then the Optimum account owner should apply at Optimum.com/ACP.

What if the Optimum account owner doesn’t qualify for Affordable Connectivity Program?
If the Optimum account owner does not qualify for the program, the Optimum account owner may transfer account ownership to the qualified household member here.

I received a message stating my account number is incorrect. What should I do?
When entering your account number on your Optimum application, you’ll need to type the first 13 digits (without dashes) that appear on your bill or order confirmation email.

NOTE: Be sure to enter ONLY the first 13 digits without dashes and ignore any extra digits.

I forgot my Optimum ID username and password. Can I still fill out the Optimum application for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
If you forget your Optimum ID username and password you’ll need to reset or change it to fill out the Optimum Affordable Connectivity Program application. Or you may skip that portion in the application and continue without signing in.

I received a message stating that I am not eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program with Optimum because of one of the following reasons:

  1. I haven’t qualified through the National Verifier yet
  2. My National Verifier approval has expired or
  3. I didn’t enter my information on my application with Optimum exactly as it appears on my National Verifier approval letter.
 

What should I do?

  1. If you haven't yet qualified through the National Verifier, you’ll need to first obtain a National Verifier approval and then apply with us at Optimum.com/ACP to receive your Affordable Connectivity Program credit with Optimum.
  2. If your National Verifier approval has expired, you’ll need to first re-apply to obtain a new National Verifier approval and then apply with us at Optimum.com/ACP, to receive your Affordable Connectivity Program credit with Optimum.
  3. If you didn't enter your information on your application with Optimum exactly as it appears on your National Verifier approval letter, don’t worry - you can re-apply! To receive your Affordable Connectivity Program credit with Optimum, you must enter your legal name and other information on your application with Optimum exactly as it appears on your National Verifier approval.

    To check the legal name and other information you provided to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, please review your National Verifier approval. You can do this by checking the approval you may have received by email or mail, or you can log in to your account at the National Verifier. To log into your National Verifier account, visit AffordableConnectivity.gov and follow the steps below:
    1. In the top right corner, click Consumer Sign In
    2. Enter your Username and Password
    3. On your homepage, you’ll see your application and its status in the dashboard

    You may also visit AffordableConnectivity.gov/help for more information or you can contact the administrator of the National Verifier by email at [email protected]. Once you have a new National Verifier approval (if needed) and are ready to re-apply, please visit Optimum.com/ACPAPP and re-apply with the exact same information.
 

I received a message stating that my address is tied to another participant in the Affordable Connectivity Program. What should I do?
Only one Affordable Connectivity Program credit is available per household. If you live at the same address with other people but do not share income and expenses, you may be considered a separate household. Visit the National Verifier to complete an ACP Program Household Worksheet.

I received a message stating that the address I provided on my application with Optimum does not match my Optimum service address. What should I do?
The address used for the National Verifier must be your current Optimum service address. If you did not use your current Optimum service address to obtain your National Verifier approval letter, please update your address with the National Verifier at AffordableConnectivity.gov and then re-apply at Optimum.com/ACPAPP. If you used your Optimum service address to obtain your National Verifier approval, please verify that the addresses match by comparing your National Verifier approval with your latest Optimum billing statement and then re-apply at Optimum.com/ACPAPP.

My Internet is fully or partially paid by my landlord or homeowner’s association. Am I eligible?
At the present time, if your landlord, management company or homeowner’s association is paying for all or part of your Internet bill with Optimum, you aren't eligible to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program with Optimum.

My television bill is fully or partially paid by my landlord or homeowner’s association, but I pay Optimum for my Internet bill in full. Am I eligible?
Yes, you may be eligible to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program with Optimum. To receive your Affordable Connectivity Program credit with Optimum, you’ll need to first obtain approval from the National Verifier. Once you have a National Verifier approval, please visit Optimum.com/ACPAPP and apply with the exact same information.

Are commercial and small business accounts eligible?
Optimum commercial and business accounts, including small business accounts, aren't eligible to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program at the present time.

I have a National Verifier approval, but I was denied to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program by Optimum. What should I do?
The email Optimum sent in response to your application included a reason you weren't qualified to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program with Optimum and, in most cases, instructions on how to fix any issues preventing you from qualifying. If you have additional questions, please call 888.891.2189. If you believe you're eligible, please re-apply.

Is a household allowed more than one Affordable Connectivity Program credit? What if two people in the house have separate finances?
Only one Affordable Connectivity Program credit is available per household as defined by the FCC. If you live at the same address with other people but don't share income and expenses, you may be considered a separate household. Visit the National Verifier at AffordableConnectivity.gov to complete an Affordable Connectivity Program Household Worksheet.

What’s an Affordable Connectivity Program Household Worksheet?
The Affordable Connectivity Program Household Worksheet is used for consumers reporting an address that's already on record as participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program to determine if they're considered the same or separate households based on the FCC’s definition. For example, two people living at the same residence who share money and bills are considered one household under the FCC’s definition. In that case, only one Affordable Connectivity Program benefit is available to serve that address. Conversely, two people living at the same residence who don't share any income or expenses may be considered two separate households. In that case, both individuals may qualify to receive an Affordable Connectivity Program benefit.

Who developed the eligibility criteria for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Congress created the Affordable Connectivity Program, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the rules and polices governing how the program operates. The Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau, other Commission staff and the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) oversee and administer the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Who can I contact with help on my National Verifier approval?
For help with your National Verifier approval, contact the Affordable Connectivity Program Support Center for assistance by calling 877.384.2575 or by email at [email protected].

After being approved, can I choose to no longer receive the Affordable Connectivity Program credit?
We’ll be sorry to hear it, but if you no longer want to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program with Optimum, or if you need to tell us that you no longer qualify, we’ll make it easy. Just send an email to [email protected] letting us know why you are leaving the program and include the following information as it appears on your bill:

  • Account Number
  • First and Last Name
  • Service Address
 

Can I transfer my Affordable Connectivity Program credit to another person or household?
The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one per household and isn't transferable to another household or another individual even if they may qualify.

What should I do if I move?
If you move, update your address information at the National Verifier at AffordableConnectivity.gov. Then re-apply with us using your updated address at Optimum.com/ACPAPP.

What should I do if I move out of the Optimum service area?
Please go to smartmove.us to find a service provider in your area. You can use the Companies Near Me Tool available at AffordableConnectivity.gov to check if they're participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program. You'll need to re-apply to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program with your new service provider.

What happens after the Affordable Connectivity Program ends?
Based on Federal Government rules, the monthly credit will continue for qualified households until the federal funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program is depleted. When the Affordable Connectivity Program ends, your bill will continue to reflect the services and pricing as of that date without the Affordable Connectivity Program credit. This means that you'll be charged the regular, undiscounted, rate for the services you selected until cancelled, and you'll be subject to our regular terms and conditions. If you're having trouble paying your bill, please call us at any time to review available options to lower your bill.

What if I'm having problems getting my affordable connectivity benefit?

If you have any questions or concerns about your affordable connectivity benefit, please call us immediately so that we can resolve your concern.

  • Customers in NY, NJ, CT, PA, Hendersonville, NC, and West Jefferson, NC, please call 866.347.4216
  • Customers in all other areas, please call 877.838.2403

If you have any questions or concerns about your affordable connectivity benefit, please call us immediately at 866.347.4216 so we can resolve your concern. If you have an unresolved complaint about ACP, you have the right to submit a complaint to the FCC Consumer Complaint Center at consumercomplaints.fcc.gov or by calling 888-CAL-FCC (888-225-5322).

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